Altnacraig stood on High Ridge, a block west of Main Street, and was built
just after the turn of the century by Mr. and Mrs. A. Barton Hepburn as their
summer and weekend place. The Hepburns were friends of the likes of Mark Twain
and artist/sculptor Frederic Remington (who moved to Ridgefield in 1909 at Mr.
Barton, president of the Chase Bank in New York City, was hit by a bus and
died not too many years after the house was built, but his wife Emily Eaton
Hepburn continued to use Altnacraig for many years. After her husband's death,
Emily, who was a fighter for woman's rights in the 1900s and 1910s, became a
noted businesswoman, building and operating a major New York City hotel.
Altnacraig eventually became a nursing home. In the early 1990s, after the
nursing home had been closed several years, the house burned to the ground in a
spectacular -- and suspicious -- fire. In 1997 and 1998, a new and almost
equally spectacular house was built on the site. This is a rear view of the
mansion from a hand-colored card by Albertype; from those porches and windows,
one could see a magnificent scene stretching to the upper Palisades along the
Hudson River, more than 20 miles to the west.